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A Democratic-Backed Bill Would Limit How Many Patients Ohio Nurses Can Care For At a Time

photo of Michael Skindell
State Sen. Michael Skindell of Lakewood says the purpose of the bill is make sure nurses aren't caring for more patients than they can handle.

A new bill at the Statehouse would put limits on the number of patients one registered nurse can care for.

State Sen. Michael Skindell, a Lakewood Democrat, says the goal is to make sure registered nurses aren’t caring for more patients than they can handle at one time.

“Nurse-to-patient ratios are based on the seriousness of the condition being treated or medical procedure being performed. Ohio currently has no limits on how many patients a nurse can care for at any one time.”

The Ohio Hospital Association’s John Palmer says his group opposes a mandated-staffing ratio because all nurses and patients are different.

The bill would only affect registered nurses – not licensed practical nurses or medical assistants. And it’s facing an uphill challenge because it doesn’t have widespread bipartisan support at this point.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.